Let’s be honest, there is never a bad time to study abroad in Spain, and if you’re like us you never need a reason to head to the Basque country in Bilbao.
However, 2018 is going to be a spectacular year to be in Bilbao because of a variety of unique events happening in the city.
You can study in Bilbao for a semester, summer, or year. Or you can combine terms (summer and semester). Here are the deadlines for application:
Summer Session 1: May 19-June 28 – April 1 Deadline to Apply
Summer Session 2: June 21-July 21 – May 1 Deadline to Apply
Fall 2018: August 28-December 16 – June 1 Deadline to Apply
You can attend one or both summer sessions, but we definitely recommend both, because one just won’t be enough!
If you’re heading to Bilbao in 2018, here are just a few of the amazing things you’ll experience (listed in order by date).
1. Field Trips, Tours, and Travels
USAC is known for combining our study abroad programs with some amazing field trips. Whether you’re studying a summer or semester, we squeeze in a ton of fun adventures.
Depending on whether you’re studying during the first or second session of summer we’ll take you on field trips to France, San Sebastian, Urdaibai and Province Bizkaia.
Both summer session one and two students have the option to do the Optional Tour and Field Study to Camino de Santiago. This six-day tour takes you through a variety of ancient pilgrim routes that end at the tomb of St. James. You’ll want to grab your hiking shoes for this one!
You may even get the chance to visit the coastal town of Bakio and its gorgeous little islet San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. This is where the 7th season of Game of Thrones was filmed. The islet is a finalist for Best European Film Location of the Decade.
If you’re studying for the semester field trips include Asturias, French Basque Country, Navarra, Galicia, Andalucia and more. For a full list of activities visit our website.
2. European Rugby Finals
History will be made in 2018 when the European professional club rugby finals are played in Spain for the first time, May 11-12.
Bilbao’s San Mamés Stadium will open its doors to the showpiece matches of the European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup and the Continental Shield final will also take place in the Basque city as the expansion of the sport into new and emerging markets across Europe gathers pace.
3. Conference for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion
Organized by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) this conference will take place June 11-13 and include presentations on how to make equality, diversity, and inclusion flourish at a local level, how Europe´s towns and regions can move towards more diverse and inclusive societies.
Topics will include human rights, public management and services, employment, intersectional discrimination, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life.
4. Music Festivals and Events
Being in Bilbao in summer will lend itself to the opportunity to experience two amazing music festivals. The first being the Getxo International Jazz Festival which will take place July 4-July 7.
For this festival, international and local artists come together to put on a fantastic and jazz filled 4-day event.
Secondly, you can experience the BBK Live Festival which is bringing in artists such as Alt-J, Childish Gambino, Florence and the Machine, the XX and about six dozen other bands. It’s the Coachella of Spain! The concert will take place July 12-14.
Last but certainly not least, if you find yourself in Bilbao in the fall you can attend the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards ceremony. The awards will be hosted by Rita Ora and take place on November 4.
According to Raffaele Annecchina, President & Managing Director of Viacom International Media, “Bilbao is the perfect city for the 2018 event. The spirit, the culture, the food, and the energy of the city, as well as its people, are just the perfect combination to offer and create unique experiences and moments alongside MTV. An event full of stars that will make the MTV EMAs 2018 a completely unforgettable time for our fans”.
5. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Ceremony
A unique opportunity for students studying in Bilbao in June 2018, the city will be hosting The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Ceremony. Spain’s Basque country has the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants per capita.
If you’re a foody, you won’t want to miss this gourmet event! Plus, the Basque country has four restaurants on this list, so we recommend doing some taste testing beforehand.
Here are some restaurants to seek out before June:
Asador Etxebarri in Axpe (No.6)
Mugaritz near San Sebastian (No.9)
Arzak in San Sebastian (No.30)
Azurmendi near Bilbao (No.38).
Furthermore, Nerua – located within the Guggenheim in Bilbao – appears on the 51-100 list at No.56, while Martin Berasategui in nearby Lasarte-Oria is ranked No.77.
There you have a few unique reasons to head to Bilbao, Spain in 2018. To learn more or apply today visit the USAC website.